The Kings Village Ghana was an incredible experience that I will never forget. Travelling from Cardiff and working for the Welsh NHS, over what has been a very tough couple of years, I was really looking forward to a refreshing change of scenery and finding out how healthcare systems work in other countries. I was particularly interested in the fantastic work of Ben, Marion and the wider staff of The Kings Village and how, in a relatively short period of time, they have managed to set up a fully functioning hospital from scratch.
The hospital offers a fantastic number of services, from unscheduled emergency and maternity care to outpatients and pharmacy advice. With only 3 full time doctors, services are tight and parallels can be drawn to our own healthcare system here back home. However, in such a different environment and with relatively little resources, it was incredible to observe the amazing work tackling malaria, malnutrition and multiple deliveries a day, in addition to all the normal presentations we are used to seeing in the UK, from viral illnesses to renal colic.
As an observing doctor I focussed my time on educating the doctors, where I could, on the presentations we were seeing together and how in the UK we might tackle the pathologies. We worked together to see how we could streamline the hospital’s workload and improve patient care. Together with staff we laid the foundations for multiple quality improvement initiatives that will hopefully have a lasting impact on the hospital. This ranged from hygiene and patient safety through to theatre efficiency and additional resources.
My time in northern Ghana was, I believe, beneficial to the staff and patients I met, but also incredibly beneficial to me too as a clinician. Coming back to work in the UK I have a new found appreciation for our resources but also an awareness of how we might be more resourceful in our practice here.
For any healthcare professionals, from whatever division of healthcare you might be, I would highly recommend visiting The Kings Village. There is no end of ways to get involved, help and learn from our Ghanaian counterparts. If you have any questions I’m more than happy to be contacted.
Dr George Kohler
Our next volunteer expedition is planned for October 2024, and if you’d like more information on volunteering at The King’s Village, please email email@example.com